Covid-19 Pandemic

Courtesy Rob Grimes

To those who spent a lot of time there, Comic Book E.R. was much more than a comic shop. It was where Cadillac’s outsiders and geeks came together.

  

Taylor Wizner

 

Public health officials say the positivity rate, hospitalizations and new Covid cases are all trending downward.

Taylor Wizner

 

It’s exactly 1 p.m. Monday when Interlochen residents Aaron and Mary Kay Stander click on Grand Traverse County’s website.

courtesy of Julia Chambers

Last spring, Julia Chambers, of Walhalla, was desperate to find out if her sister Joanie was okay. 

Joanie lived in a nursing home outside of Detroit, and COVID cases had just been detected at the facility.

Mary Van Valin's walkway to her Traverse City home is lined with heart-shaped stones she finds at the beach.
Mary Van Valin

People deal with anxiety in different ways ― some like to hike, some enjoy painting, while others might play music. For Traverse City resident Mary Van Valin, it's collecting heart-shaped stones on the shores of Lake Michigan. 


Interlochen Public Radio

 

When COVID-19 surged in the Upper Peninsula in the early winter months, it had a disproportionate impact on first responders, health care and frontline workers and children, according to a recent report.

Credit Courtesy of Katie Workman

This is the second story in our series, “Our Lives Have Changed” about how the COVID-19 pandemic has re-shaped life in northern Michigan.

Even before COVID-19 spread through Michigan, 30-year-old Ludington resident Katie Workman and her husband, Mike, were looking for someone to watch their kids.

 

  

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

 

Phones ringing non-stop. Websites crashing. Appointment slots filled within hours. Eligible teachers, front line workers, and senior citizens in northern Michigan all want to know when they can get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Screen capture from Munson Virtual Press Conference

 

Three weeks after receiving its first COVID-19 vaccines, Munson Healthcare says 51.3% of eligible workers, more than 5,000 employees, have been scheduled or vaccinated as the hospital system moves to administering the second dose for some.

Courtesy Kandace Day

 

It happened so fast. 

Mancelona resident Kandace Day took her 4-year-old son, Charlie, to the Emergency Room for some medicine and the next thing she knew, he was being flown to a Grand Rapids hospital, where 15 doctors were waiting to rush him to the ICU.

The 45th Annual Vasa Festival of Races in Traverse City has been canceled due to COVID-19.
Roger Hagerman

The 45th annual North American Vasa Festival of Races has been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. After exploring other options, the Vasa board unanimously voted on Tuesday night to call off the event.


On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an extension of the restrictions put in place three weeks ago.
Michigan Executive Office of the Governor

Citing continuing concerns about hospital capacity and “alarmingly high” death rates, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a 12-day extension of the COVID-19 restrictions initially put in place three weeks ago.

Today on Stateside, as a second surge of COVID-19 cases continues across the state, hospitals in the hardest hit communities struggle to keep up with the demand for space and staff. Plus, what do the latest wave of COVID-19 restrictions mean for movie theaters, which had just recently opened for business again? 

Interlochen Public Radio

The number of new coronavirus cases reported in northern lower Michigan appears to be falling, after surging to record highs last month. 

Today on Stateside, now that Michigan's ballots have been counted, political demographers are examining the state's 2020 election results. An expert at the Brookings Institute talked to us about how and where support for President Donald Trump formed roots in Michigan—and whether it's likely to continue after he leaves office. Also, we revisit a conversation about parenting amid the COVID-19 pandemic and talk to a Detroit hip-hop artist about breaking the mold in a city rich with talent.

Today on Stateside, we check in with the director of Michigan’s department of Health and Human Services in light of the new COVID-19 orders going into effect Wednesday. We'll also hear about how Native Americans in nineteenth century Michigan were at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights in the state. Plus, a conversation about how to have awkward conversations surrounding your Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof).

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Starting Wednesday, restaurants in Michigan are again limited to delivery and takeout, high school and college classes can only be online, and non-professional sports games are cancelled. That’s under an order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s public health director.

Taylor Wizner

 

Northwest lower Michigan is seeing a rapid rise in the number of COVID cases. Until recently, the region has largely avoided COVID spikes.

But as temperatures drop, residents are having to shift practices and behavior. 

In late May when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted the stay-at-home order for northern Michigan, Traverse City local Tyler Harkert braced for a rush of downstaters. 

Morgan Springer

 

Update 10/22/30: TCAPS says TC Central High School  will return to in-class learning on Friday. The district says the health department completed its contact tracing efforts.

Traverse City Area Public Schools has closed TC Central High School for two days after positive COVID-19 test results from someone at the school were reported Tuesday. Depending on how many were exposed, or how long the health department needs to contact trace, the school may have to continue virtual instruction for longer, possibly for 14 days, TCAPS Superintendent John VanWagoner says.

Stateside for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Today on Stateside, we take a look at the troubling rise in COVID-19 cases in Kent County. Also, a conversation about Jackson County’s history as a birthplace for  Abraham Lincoln's Republican Party. Plus, we talk to two election attorneys about the possibility of contested election results after the presidential election.

Courtesy Michigan Executive Officer of the Governor

Citing a recent surge of COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is moving the region back one stage in the state’s reopening plan.

 

The order will take effect Friday, October 9.

Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance

Cold fall and winter weather may be the death knell for some northern Michigan bars and restaurants, worry several northern Michigan chambers of commerce.

 

Currently, the state requires these restaurants only seat 50% occupancy indoors, while bars can’t serve any patrons inside. Over the summer, the venues overcame those limits by serving more people outside. 

Consumers Energy says it will help thousands of northern Michigan residents with their energy bills. The company is pledging $12 million to help state residents and small business owners hit hard by the pandemic.

The utility says for the first time it’s offering assistance to families at most income levels who struggle to pay their bills. They say 40,000 customers in Michigan owe money or are in crisis.

Screenshot of the MI Safe Start Map on Sept. 24

 

Cases of COVID-19 in the Traverse City region have been declining this week and the percent of positive tests has also been decreasing.

 

  

 

But public health officials repeat the same refrain: don’t let your guard down. The pandemic is far from over and the upcoming flu season, in-person classes resuming and the cold pushing people in-doors — where risk is higher — remain top of mind.

 

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Testing wastewater can rapidly detect COVID-19 outbreaks in college campuses, nursing homes and prisons.

Thanks to a $10 million dollar grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the state is beginning to test wastewater across Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will team up with local health departments and colleges for the three month pilot.

Pages